We’re half way there

“There” as in the end of our Spring Break in Baltimore, and it’s probably one of the last things I want to say.

Today we spoke with the Recruitment Director of another charter school reform model. Unfortunately, we were unable to visit the school and see the model in action but I believe the class was able to get a pretty good idea of what the charter school was about. This model definitely resembled a private corporation rather than a public institutions. I previously worked for this school and can testify that I felt like I was working at a private company rather than a public school. One of main things that bothers me about charter schools is funding. Midtown Academy receives both funding from the district and from private donations. There are other models who want to achieve the best results, however, to make this all happen has to have the initial funds to make it possible. The model we learned today required students’ to do an array of academic-enriching activities but these same activities would not be able to be implemented into the public school system because there isn’t enough funds.

Initially, I thought charter schools were schools started by ambitions teachers or educational advocates who had amazing ideas to improve education, and hope to be the positive change that our public school needed. At the moment, it appears that these charter schools are not planning to share their methods with public schools or understand that public schools are not unable to do their methods. They are definitely making a positive difference on the students and families they are working with, however, there are thousands and thousands of other students who are not receiving the same academic experience. Although charter schools are contributing to closing the achievement gap, they’re not contributing to solving the problems that still exist in urban public schools.

Beside that, today was day three of our College and Career Institute and Liz did a great job with facilitating the session. She modified the curriculum to make it more engaging and interactive, and it definitely worked! We also had a great discussion on obstacles and different activities that certain colleges have. I really enjoy interacting with the students and learning more about them. It’s also a pleasure to share things about myself to them. I know I am going to miss them so much after this week and I am trying to see if I could possibly return for their graduation. I mean, I can easily get a bus ticket from Philadelphia to Baltimore — we’ll see!

What to expect tomorrow: The Urban Education class will be learning about and immersing  ourselves in another charter school reform.

Continue reading!

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